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Radically inclusive. Spiritually alive. Full of Love.
To find out more have a look around our website, or join us this Sunday.
WORSHIP OF THE OPEN HEART BEGINS EVERY SUNDAY AT 10.45am
Bank Street, Bolton Town Centre, BL1 1TS
Our purpose is
to inspire spiritual journeys
engaging with the world
with open hearts and open minds.
April's Theme: Compassion
In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
Jesus of Nazareth
As we approach the festival of Easter we know that many Christians are thinking about the death and resurrection of Jesus. This story is often re-enacted in passion plays. There's not a passion play in Bolton this year as there has been in some previous years, but there is going to be one in Manchester. I have mixed feelings about these kinds of things. To be honest I find them to be a bit gruesome. And as a Unitarian my faith is not rooted in the passion of Jesus. Rather what's more important is the compassion of Jesus.
Passion means pain/suffering and com-passion means being alongside another in their suffering. Compassion is feeling the pain of another and reaching out to alleviate that pain. Jesus put this at the heart of his teaching and explained what it meant by telling a story of someone beaten up at the side of the road. One passing person, a Samaritan, felt compassion, and reached out a helping hand. "Go, and do likewise," says Jesus.
The death of three-year old Alan Kurdi, the tiny body washed up a Turkish beach in 2015 made us all feel that com-passion, that pain striking into our hearts. The refugee crisis continues today, still demanding our compassion, our feeling-with, and our acting-with. One way we can stop this happening again is giving to our Lent charity, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station in Malta, who have already rescued 30,000 people from the Mediterranean. They continue to operate search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. This is one small way we continue to follow the way of compassion.
In peace and love,
Book (non-fiction): Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong. Taking as a starting point the teachings of the major world religions Karen Armstrong demonstrates in twelve practical steps how we can bring compassion into our lives.
Jesus said love one another. Let's stick to that.
Jesus said love one another.
Love your neighbour. Love your self. Love your God.
What if he actually meant it? What if it's like, that simple?
We love. That's it.
We love our neighbours. We love Muslims. We love gay people. We love atheists. We love immigrants. We love all sorts of people.
And how about we don't make it any more complicated than that? How about we forget about believing impossible things? How about we forget about heaven and hell and rising from the dead and a thousand other things we're supposed to believe? How about we just concentrate on LOVE, and maybe worry about those other things if we have time?
That's what we've decided to do at Bank Street Unitarian Chapel.
We have decided to stick to one commandment: love. And when we get that one right, we'll start worrying about other things.
If you want a religion that cares more about love than doctrine, maybe you could join us.
If you want a religion that is more interested in getting heaven into people than getting people into heaven maybe you could join us.
If you want a religion that keeps things simple, if you want a religion that's committed to the simple idea we should love one another, you're most welcome to join us.
Bank Street Unitarian Chapel
Open Hearts, Open Minds
Monthly Themes at Bank Street
At Bank Street Unitarian Chapel we follow a series of monthly spiritual themes, following a three-year cycle. These themes are dimensions of a healthy spiritual life and each month we are able to go deeply into each theme in worship, education and discussion. We follow the following themes: